Winter regattas

Every now and then, there’s always a few non club events that I run at Middle Harbour Yacht Club. Over the weekend we hosted the McConaghy38s for 6 races and on Sunday the Adams10s for their annual teams event, the Waitangie Cup.

The MC38s had a small but very competitive fleet as it turned out, the first two tied and the next three also tied on overall points. The leading team recently has been Ginger with owner skipper Leslie Green and tactician David Chapman and once again they were at the front. Pushing them was Maserati , with Neville Crichton and new young crew lead by Joe Turner and Mitch White. Maserati won on this occasion, relegating Ginger to second after a lengthy count back.

Saturdays racing started off with a one lap in a light westerly and after the finish the AP went up for around an hours delay whilst the breeze settled. In the end I moved the course south of Sow and Pigs Reef and started them in a one lap southerly. Unfortunately the breeze again dropped out so that race was abandoned. Then the NorEaster came in and we saw some good racing out through the heads, again one lappers whilst the breeze lasted.

Sunday saw the Westerly/NorWester trying to come in. In the end I moved them into a short course from Manly Point to North Harbour as this was pretty much the only breeze on the harbour. We got in a couple of short races in the NorWester for both classes before the CYCA fleet headed north. We then moved the course east of their fleet and got in the last race before the breeze again dropped out.

Whilst all the races over the weekend were all one lap, they were sailed in I think the best conditions available. It’s always fluky at this time of year on the harbour, too much or not enough. Certainly challenging setting courses to please.

The Waitangie Cup is an annual state teams event, New South Wales verses Victoria in the Adams10s. I’ve won, lost and run this event over several decades being an A10 sailor. Each home crew also swap boats so there is no advantage, it also gives them a chance to crew on the opposition boats and have a feel for what they are sailing against.Unfortunately the VICs were down a boat coming up so it was 4 against 3, with the last NSW boat dropped off in the scoring. Powderhulk with Patrick Delaney sailing Rob Clark’s Kick&Chase won all 3 races giving the home team the edge in the final points. As always it was an enjoyable event with no protests and I know from experience both state teams enjoy the challenge. Next year it’s off to Victoria to defend, something that’s always hard.

As a volunteer at MHYC a lot of time goes in to running the racing.  Including getting to the club early enough to set up the Start boat prior to a briefing and then a long day on the water in testing conditions for the Race Officer and the tacticians alike. On Saturday I was blessed to have three of my regulars assisting and Phil, Bev and Dennis helping to run a smooth operation. On Sunday I had a mixed crew of non sailing A10 sailors to assist. There were the odd hickups from those who had never been on a startboat before. All learnt immensely from being aboard helping to run the racing.

Next? Planning the coming months and next seasons calendar. There will be the regular events like the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, what else?

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About Phil Yeomans
Phil grew up sailing on Pittwater (north of Sydney) racing in many classes over the years including Manly Juniors, Lasers, 5.5’s, 505’s, several trailer Yachts, E22’s, 1/2 and 1 Tonners, A10m, Sydney 38’s and more. Phil is well known for his knowledge of boats, having built several classes and has a freaky ability to recognise boats and designs. Phil is a National Race Official (Yachting Australia) and is the Principal Race Officer at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

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